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The Underground Railroad Archives - Institute of the Black World 21st Century

The Eli Jackson Methodist Church and cemetery, located on a ranch once operated by Nathaniel and Matilda Jackson, who are believed to have helped slaves escape to Mexico, San Juan, Texas, 2019

When the Enslaved Fled to Mexico

By Reparations

A new book tells the forgotten story of fugitive slaves who found freedom south of the border. David S. Reynolds, The New York Review There has long been a fascination with the plight of enslaved Blacks who ran away from southern slaveholders in the decades before the Civil War. Powerful autobiographies by runaways such as Frederick Douglass, William Wells Brown, and Harriet Jacobs immerse us in their physical pain and…

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“The Underground Railroad” attempts to upend viewers’ notions of what it meant to be enslaved

By Commentaries/Opinions

By William Nash — Speaking on NPR’s Fresh Air, Barry Jenkins, the director of “The Underground Railroad,” noted that “before making this show … I would have said I’m the descendant of enslaved Africans.” “I think now that answer has evolved,” he continued. “I am the descendant of blacksmiths and midwives and herbalists and spiritualists.” As a scholar interested in how modern representations of enslavement shape our understanding of the past,…

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